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125 Years of Library Service

On Jan. 15, 2022, the Cedar Rapids Public Library marks 125 years since first opening.

An exhibit at the Downtown Library’s Third Floor Gallery, at 450 Fifth Ave. SE, explores the timeline of the library’s history. An exhibit at the Ladd Library Gallery, 3750 Williams Blvd. SE, spotlights library branches and service delivery across Cedar Rapids. 

The exhibits are open Jan. 15 to March 13, and then switch locations and be open March 19 to May 28, so that patrons of both branches will have a chance to view them. 

Both exhibits highlight the library’s legacy of working to ensure access for all to books and information. Since the early days, the library staff sought to bring the resources of the library to the people, with book collections in corner stores and factory break rooms in the 1910s and 1920s, book mobiles in the 1960s, and branch libraries.

The history celebration continues throughout 2022 with new episodes of a historic docu-series debuting on the Library’s Facebook and YouTube pages each month.

The library has published a special history-focused commemorative edition of OPEN+ magazine. It is available at the Downtown and Ladd Libraries and online at CRLibrary.org/open/. The Library has also published the history online at: CRLibrary.org/our-history/

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A woman talks on the phone at the Reference Desk of the library, a rollodex in front of her and a large binder titled "New York Times" index next to her in this black and white photo.

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